What we ask of you as a volunteer

"Usually Samaritans fits perfectly into my daily life.

I often work evenings so being able to do morning shifts suits me down to the ground… it’s great to feel like I’m giving something back."

Apply to volunteer

or make a donation to help us continue our life-saving work.

It’s great you’re considering joining us as a volunteer. To make sure we’re right for each other, read on to find out a little more about what’s involved.

Becoming a Samaritans volunteer

We’re behind you all the way with the training and support you need for the volunteer role you take on.

What does the volunteer training involve?

Listening volunteer: A listening volunteer talks to anyone that calls, emails or visits a Samaritans branch. You’ll have a certain set of qualities already. You’ll be patient and have a natural ability to listen and remain open-minded. You’ll also be able to respect the confidentiality of the conversations you have at all times.

Your local branch will train you, using standard training used across Samaritans. The initial training course is eight 3-hour modules – this takes place over several weeks.

You’ll then be paired up with a mentor (an experienced volunteer) who you’ll observe and do your shifts with for 4 – 6 months.

You’ll receive ongoing training throughout your time with us, to  help reflect on and build on your experience, and may get the opportunity to attend Samaritans conferences throughout the year, which bring together our volunteers across the UK and Ireland.

Support volunteer: Support volunteers are essential in every branch for all our fundraising, management and support needs.

You’ll need to attend an induction and training session to get an overview of what Samaritans is about, and then you’ll receive any further training that is needed for the role.

How much time am I expected to give?

Support volunteer: The time you give will depend on the branch and the role.

Listening volunteer: As a listening volunteer you will agree your shifts with your branch – this might include some night shifts (so we’re able to keep the helpline going day and night). Shifts vary due to the size of the branch and the number of volunteers your branch already has.

Typically, volunteers do a shift of 3-4 hours every week, including a night shift of 4-6 hours every month to 8 weeks.

We expect all our volunteers to follow and understand our policies and what we do in different scenarios. You’ll need to sign a statement agreeing to abide by our confidentiality policy.

It makes me feel great, after a lot of training, mentoring and building up of experience, to be able, at last, to call myself a fully qualified Samaritans volunteer.

Apply to volunteer

or make a donation to help us continue our life-saving work.

Still not sure about volunteering for Samaritans?

If you have any queries about volunteering with the Samaritans, please contact the National Volunteer Recruitment team:

  • Tel: 03705 62 72 82 (UK) or 1890 200 091 (Republic of Ireland)
  • Email: volunteering@samaritans.org
  • Samaritans, Volunteering Department, The Upper Mill, Kingston Road, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 2AF